Makayla H. - Diagnosed at age 19
I was diagnosed with lupus after experiencing fatigue, inflammation, and rash. I went to a rheumatologist and immediately started treatment. I started doing tons of research which didn’t compare to experiencing real life symptoms. Things got worse in my second year with lupus, the flare ups were devastating leading to several hospitalizations. It was a hassle taking so many medications and constantly having to go to the doctor.
Lupus has affected my joints, kidneys, brain, blood cells, skin, heart and lungs. Lupus has caused me to lose a significant amount of weight going from 165lbs to 98 lbs. Painfully inflamed joints have led to difficulty walking and standing. I have had strokes on both sides of my brain which led to falls, memory loss and weakness. Inflammation throughout the body causes fluid to build within my organs. I have had several procedures to drain fluid from my lungs, heart, and stomach. Fluid also builds around my face and legs causing edema. I have light sensitivity where I develop a painful itchy rash on my face, stomach, and arms. These symptoms have prevented me from being able to work due to being hospitalized for weeks at a time which has been financially draining.